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" Identifying Future Skills for Growth and Competitiveness “ Abridged Version. My Vantage Point. Founding President, Letterkenny Institute of Technology 1971 – 1974 President, Waterford Institute of Technology 1974 – 1977

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Identifying future skills for growth and competitiveness abridged version

"Identifying Future Skills for Growth and Competitiveness“

Abridged Version

My vantage point
My Vantage Point

  • Founding President, Letterkenny Institute of Technology 1971 – 1974

  • President, Waterford Institute of Technology 1974 – 1977

  • Founding President, National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin 1977 – 1989

  • Founding President Dublin City University 1989 - 1999

Factors in ireland s economic success 1
Factors in Ireland’s Economic Success 1

         Macro-Economic Management;

  EU Membership;

 Social Partnership Agreements;

R&D Investment

     Taxation Reform


     Public Administration

But the doubts in 1980 s
But, the doubts in 1980’s

‘…..there is an argument that a large expansion in third level education would increase the supply of highly-qualified graduates in various disciplines beyond national manpower needs and would, in effect, be educating people for emigration or unemployment and in a particularly expensive way. It is recognised however, that there are serious reservations about planning on the basis of manpower projections alone. Account must be taken of the extent to which a well educated cadre of people can, of itself, contribute to economic recovery’...

NOTE:In 1987 ca. 70% of university bachelors graduates of that year emigrated!

And a positive attitude prevailed
And –a positive attitude prevailed

  • However, later in this same document, Government asserts:

  • ‘Priority in financial support will be given to those academic developments, either by way of new courses or extensions to existing courses, which are geared to development in modern society and thus ensure that our graduates are kept abreast of rapidly changing technology and can compete with graduates of other countries’.

Skills planning
Skills Planning

From the early 1980’s there had been concerns expressed at the growing pressure for an increased output from HEIs.

Government established (in 1997) the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN).

Its objectives are: to develop national strategies to tackle the issues of skill needs; manpower forecasting and the education and training for business membership.

Membership of the EGFSN includes: business people; educationalists; training providers; trade unions; policy makers; public servants; industrial promotion agencies.

Expert group on future skills needs
Expert Group on Future Skills Needs

It is imperative that enterprise must be one of the key considerations in policy making for education.

Incorporating the views of enterprise into the educational system is in the best interests of students as it maximises their choices of career path.

Advancing the Lisbon Agenda - Integral to this is maximising social inclusion, providing high quality employment and delivering improvements in the social fabric.

Crucial skills for 21 st century enterprise
Crucial Skills for 21st Century Enterprise

Entrepreneurial Skills

Science, Engineering and Technology Skills



Soft Skills

Foreign Language Skills

Building a base
Building a Base

  • The Secondary School

  • National Curriculum

  • National Assesssment

  • Six years of Math

  • Four years minimum of Science

New secondary school programmes
New secondary school programmes

Post Leaving Certificate (PLC)

Leaving Certificate Applied

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

Transition Year Programme

Post leaving certificate plc
Post Leaving Certificate (PLC)

  • Principally aimed at those who have completed senior cycle education.

  • Comprises full-time one and two year (and some three and four year) courses of integrated education, training and work experience provided in schools and colleges outside the third level sector.

  • The courses are designed to prepare participants for employment or further education/training, and develop the skills needed for specific occupations.

Leaving certificate applied
Leaving Certificate Applied

  • Developed because the Established Leaving Certificate Programme did not meet the needs of all students.

  • It is a distinct, self-contained two-year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life.

  • Over the two-year duration of the programme, participants complete 44 modules. Candidates are required to take final examinations in:

    English and Communications,Mathematical Applications,Social Education,Irish Language,Modern European Language, 2 Subjects from the Vocational specialisation e.g. Agriculture/Horticulture, Engineering,Technology, Childcare/Community Care, Hair and Beauty

Leaving certificate vocational programme lcvp
Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

  • LCVP is the normal LC with a concentration on technical subjects and some additions.

  • First introduced in 1989 and in 1994 it was expanded to broaden the choice of subjects and to strengthen the vocational content.

  • The strong vocational focus of the LCVP is achieved by arranging Leaving Certificate subjects into Vocational Subject Groupings and through the provision of link modules.

Transition year programme
Transition Year Programme

  • This year of study has been interposed between Junior Certificate and the Leaving Certificate (the final two years at second level).

  • It provides a bridge to enable them to make the transition from the more dependent type of learning associated with the Junior Certificate to the more independent learning environment associated with the Senior Cycle i.e. the Leaving Certificate.

  • It encourages personal and social development and recognises the need for students to grow in independence.

  • Students mature greatly during the year and sometimes revise their subject and career choices.

Identifying future skills for growth and competitiveness abridged version

New Institutions-New Attitudes and New ProgrammesRegional Technical CollegesInstitutes of TechnologyNew Universities(Dublin City UniversityUniversity of Limerick)

Influences on older universities
Influences on older Universities

  • Increased student opportunities and competition for the best students

  • New dynamic, young academics with senior roles

  • Regional Focus

  • Emphasis on Access for the disadvantaged

  • Close to Industry

  • External representation on Governing Authority

  • Industrial Advisory Boards

  • Applied R&D

  • Incubator Centres

  • Extended membership of Academic Council

  • Innovative Academic Programmes

  • Work experience as a part of programmes

New attitudes in ireland
New attitudes in Ireland

  • Young population confident

  • Image of industry not traditional

  • Best and brightest into industry

  • More applicants than places –but….

Industrial work experience
Industrial Work Experience

  • The introduction of industry work placements to programme in

  • Universities had a number of significant outcomes as follows:-

  • Work experience for students

  • Career opportunities because a satisfied employer would often

  • offer a position to the student on graduation

  • Final year student projects were brought back to university from

  • the company; companies would fund these.

  • Since academics would visit students on placement they would build

  • up an excellent relationship with many industrialists which, at times

  • resulted in an R&D project for the academic feedback on industry

    • university programme.

    • Donations of money or equipment by the business.

Formal business links
Formal Business Links

  • The Universities, through the Conference of Irish Universities (IUA) formalised their interactions with the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) by establishing an IBEC/CHIU Joint Council.

  • Many Universities and Faculties have established Business Advisory Boards also.

  • The Institutes of Technology have followed a similar pattern.

New approaches 1
New Approaches (1)

  • Universities with Civil Servants, Politicians

  • Young academics given senior posts

  • International experience and perspectives

  • Direct engagement with business

  • Irish Universities’ Association forms a Joint Council with Irish Business and Employer Confederation

Tomorrow s skills towards a national skills strategy
Tomorrow’s Skills: Towards a National Skills Strategy.

Key Proposals for 2020:

• 48% of the labour force should have qualifications at National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Levels 6 to 10 - from National Certificate to PhD level;

• 45% should have qualifications at NFQ levels 4 and 5 - Awards equivalent to Leaving Certificate Examination;

• The remaining 7% are likely to have qualifications at NFQ levels 1 to 3 (i.e. below Junior Certificate) while aiming to transition to higher levels.

Skills road map to 2020 achieving the vision
Skills Road Map to 2020 - Achieving the Vision

• An additional 500,000 individuals within the workforce will need to be upskilled and to progress by at least one NFQ level over and above their current level of education and training;

• The (School) Leaving Certificate retention rate for young people should rise to 90 percent;

• By 2020, the proportion of the population aged 20-24 with NFQ level 4 or 5 qualification (Leaving Certificate or equivalent), should be increased to 94 percent;

• The progression from second- to third-level education should increase from 55 percent to 72 percent; and

The report uses the national framework of qualifications nfq as a basis for its projection
The report uses the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

The NFQ comprises ten levels of qualifications, with each level based on nationally agreed standards, skills and competence. These standards define the learning outcomes to be achieved by learners seeking qualifications at each level. The ten levels include qualifications gained in settings from schools, to places of work, the community, training centres and to colleges and universities, from the most basic to the most advanced levels of learning. Information on the NFQ is

Strategic innovation fund sif background
Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.Background

  • The introduction of the SIF has been signalled by both the Minister for Education and Science (April 2005) and the Minister for Finance, (Budget December 2005).

  • The SIF - €300m over 5 years - is directed towards support for innovation in higher education institutions.

  • It will support new approaches to enhancing quality and effectiveness within higher education and research, incorporating the use of existing resources (including capital resources) more effectively, as well as new funding.

Sif drivers national priorities 1
SIF Drivers - National Priorities (NFQ) as a basis for its projection. 1

  • the development of individual students to attain their full capacity both in careers and as citizens in a democratic society facing profound change;

  • the underpinning of economic and social development and inclusion through widening participation, increasing access and the development of lifelong learning systems that will meet diverse student population needs and facilitate the upskilling of those already in employment ;

  • supporting balanced regional economic and social development;

Sif drivers national priorities 2
SIF Drivers - National Priorities 2 (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • the development of a very high skilled cadre of graduates to develop and sustain research-based development and innovation and feed into a world class fourth level that will underpin Ireland’s future economic prosperity;

  • the protection and reinforcement of the many roles of higher education as a key driver of our economic development, the provider of independent intellectual insights and a primary contributor to our social, human and cultural understanding.

The key objectives of the sif 1
The key objectives of the SIF 1 (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • To enhance the delivery of core activities of education and research, through effective and creative institutional and inter-institutional collaboration and including where necessary, appropriate internal restructuring and rationalisation efforts;

  • To support enabling measures to prepare for the expansion and development of post-graduate education (including expansion and development of graduate schools), including both intra- and inter-institutional collaboration;

The key objectives of the sif 2
The key objectives of the SIF 2 (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • To support innovation and quality improvement in teaching and learning, including enhanced teaching methods, programme restructuring, modularisation and e-learning

  • To support access, retention and progression both at individual institutional level and through inter- institutional, sectoral and inter-sectoral collaboration

Europe education research
Europe – Education & Research (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • Treaty of Rome 1957

  • Maastricht 1992

  • Lisbon 2000 – to be the most competitive and dynamic knowledge driven economy by 2010; average GDP on R&D 3% target

  • Bologna 1999- quality assurance, student mobility, two cycles, transfer of credit European dimension, diploma supplement

Science foundation ireland
Science Foundation Ireland (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • Budget US$ 620 m with focus on industrially oriented basic research

  • Focus on ICT and Biotechnology

  • Commercialisation encouraged

    • IPR best practice

    • Researchers incentivised

    • State agency partnership available

    • Recycling of funds generated

  • Up to US$5 m over 5 years for proposals

  • International call for proposals

Strategic analysis 1
Strategic Analysis (1) (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • Stronger international competition for FDI

  • Ireland vulnerable

    • National growth is export/trade driven

    • 50 firms account for >50% exports

    • Only 25% ot these firms undertake R&D

    • Conventional activities will move to low-cost countries

    • Ireland is no longer a low-cost country

Strategic analysis 2
Strategic Analysis (2) (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • Compete on basis of skills and knowledge of workforce, productivity and efficiency of infrastructure and public administration

  • Key determinants of success across these factors are: Education and R&D

  • At third level –education and R&D are symbiotic

  • Technology Foresight

Ireland and the knowledge based society
Ireland and the Knowledge Based Society (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

Three Critical Areas of Focus:

  • An adaptive and Responsive Higher Education Sector

  • Upskilling the Existing Workforce and Raising Education Levels

  • Augmenting the Skills Base

Lessons (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • Analysis alone - though critical – is not sufficient

  • Engagement of institutions and of faculty are a sine qua non

  • Institutes of Technology vital

  • Universities who are prepared to engage with the business world vital

Review (NFQ) as a basis for its projection.

  • It is clear that Ireland has experienced an exciting period of challenge and change since the early 1960’s. Industry and Government attribute the recent economic success of Ireland to these developments amongst other factors. Much of the development was not based on in-depth analysis but on traditionally held beliefs that the education of our youth was a right that should not be denied them. But, there were other influences at work also. International commentators and the many educational reports and industrial policy analyses which they produced reaffirmed that view but also emphasised the relevance of the type of education to national development needs within the context of the challenging of traditional attitudes to the what, where and how of that provision.